Today is the Remembrance of Venerable Óscar Romero, Bishop (died 1980).
Born as Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez in 1917 in Ciudad Barrios, El Salvador, today’s Servant of God entered public school, which only offered grades one through three, then was privately tutored until age twelve or thirteen. Throughout this time he also was a carpentry apprentice to his father. In 1942 Romero was ordained a Catholic priest in Rome, and remained in Italy to obtain a doctoral degree in theology which specialized in ascetical theology. The next year, without finishing his degree, he was summoned back home from Fascist Italy by his bishop at age 27. Romero began working as a parish priest in Anamorós but then moved to San Miguel where he worked for over 20 years. He promoted various apostolic groups, started an Alcoholics Anonymous group, helped in the construction of San Miguel’s cathedral, and supported devotion to the Virgin of the Peace. He was later appointed Rector of the inter-diocese seminary in San Salvador. In 1966, he began his public life when chosen to be the Secretary of the Episcopal Conference for El Salvador. He also became the director of the archdiocesan newspaper Orientación, which became fairly conservative while he was editor, defending the traditional magisterium of the Catholic Church. In 1970 he was appointed auxiliary bishop to San Salvador Archbishop Luis Chávez, a move not welcomed by the more progressive members of the Priesthood in El Salvador. He took up his appointment as Bishop of the Diocese of Santiago de María in December 1975. On February 23, 1977, he was appointed Archbishop of San Salvador. His appointment was met with surprise, dismay, and even incredulity; while this appointment was welcomed by the government, many priests were disappointed, especially those openly aligning with Marxism. The Marxist priests feared that his conservative reputation would negatively affect liberation theology’s commitment to the poor. Less than a month later, on March 12, progressive Jesuit priest Rutilio Grande, who had been creating self-reliance groups among the poor campesinos, was assassinated. His death had a profound impact on Romero, who was a close personal friend to Grande; he urged Arturo Armando Molina’s government to investigate, but his request was ignored, and the censored press said nothing. In response to Fr. Rutilio’s murder, the Archbishop revealed a radicalism that had not been evident earlier, and spoke out against poverty, social injustice, assassinations and torture. As a result he began to be noticed internationally. In 1979 the Revolutionary Government Junta came to power amidst a wave of human rights abuses by paramilitary right-wing groups and the government. Romero criticized the United States for giving military aid to the new government. In February 1980 he was given an honorary doctorate by the Catholic University of Leuven. On his visit to Europe to receive this honor he met Pope John Paul II and expressed his concerns at what was happening in his country. He argued that it was problematic to support the Salvadoran government because it legitimized terror and assassinations. Romero was shot by an M-16 assault rifle wielded by assassins believed to be members of a death squad on March 24, 1980, while celebrating Mass at a small chapel located in a hospital called “La Divina Providencia”, one day after a sermon where he had called on Salvadoran soldiers, as Christians, to obey God’s higher order and to stop carrying out the government’s repression and violations of basic human rights. According to an audio-recording of the Mass, he was shot by while elevating the chalice at the end of the Eucharistic rite. When he was shot, his blood spilled over the altar. The funeral mass on March 30, 1980 in San Salvador was attended by more than 250,000 mourners from all over the world. Romero’s death proved to be a turning point in the history of the Salvadoran conflict, a peak in the power of popular organizations aligned with the left, whose popularity declined after this event under the suspicion that they attempted to capitalize on this tragic event for political gain. Romero was given the title of “Servant of God” in 1997, and after many years of delays, he was declared a Martyr and a Venerable in February 2015; at last report, he will be Beatified in May of 2015.
I woke up half an hour early today to get ready for work. I did my Bathroom Devotional Reading, and on our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading and said the Ninth and Last Day of my Annunciation Novena. I also renewed How The White Trash Zombie Got Her Groove Back by Diana Rowland, which was due today, at the Lafayette Public Library (it is now due on April 14th) and renewed the DVD of Season 1 of Bones, which was due today, at the Lafayette Public Library (it is now due March 31st). Once at the casino I did my Daily Update for yesterday, Monday, March 23rd, 2015 via WordPress for Android while we were waiting to sign the Early Out list. After we signed the Early Out list, we ate breakfast in ADR. Once we clocked in, Richard was on a Blackjack table; I was the Relief Dealer for Mini Baccarat, Pai Gow, and Three Card Blackjack, but had only got as far as breaking the Mini Baccarat table when I got out at 3:30 am. I continued reading How The White Trash Zombie Got Her Groove Back by Diana Rowland until Richard got out at 4:15 am. We headed home, and when we got home at 5:15 am I went back to bed.
I woke up (again) at 10:30 am, and started my laundry; then I read the morning paper while eating some Swiss cheese. Richard and I left the house at 11:30 am for Opelousas, and I continued reading How The White Trash Zombie Got Her Groove Back by Diana Rowland. We ate Chinese for lunch at the Creswell Lane Restaurant, then Richard looked in at Payless Shoes and at Wal-Mart for his shoes he wants for work (no success). When we got back to town he checked at Rozas Shoes, and they did not have what he wanted either. We got home at 2:00 pm, and I printed out Fishing Calendars for Grand Isle for March through October at RodnReel.com. I then worked on my weblog until 4:30 pm, at which time I watched Jeopardy!. Richard went to Dollar General, and while he was gone I set up a Hulu account and a NetFlix account, and found that on Hulu we can watch Season 10 of Bones, and on NetFlix we can watch Seasons 1 through 9 of Bones. When Richard got back from the store we watched Season 1, Episode 1 of Bones, “Pilot”, and then watched Season 1, Episode 2 of Bones, “The Man in the S.U.V.”. While we were watching television, Richard served dinner; he had said we would use up the last of the pizza and the last of the spaghetti, but I thought he would have the pizza while I had the spaghetti; instead, I got a bowl of pizza and spaghetti. I then finished my laundry, ironed my Casino pants, apron, and shirts, and did Advance Daily Update Drafts for my Weblog. (I also canceled the Hulu subscription.) Our #1 ranked LSU Baseball team is playing an Away game with Tulane; I will report the score of the game in tomorrow’s Daily Update. (Our Tigers will next start a home three-game series with Kentucky on March 27th.)
Tomorrow is the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, and the Anniversary of the Destruction of the One Ring in Mount Doom (T.A. 3019). I will do the Weekly Computer Maintenance, then I will go get my hair cut before heading down to Lafayette to return the DVD of Season One of Bones to the Lafayette Public Library, and to look for Richard’s shoes at Academy Sports. With any luck I can put in some comfy chair time at Barnes and Noble. And tomorrow evening our New Orleans Pelicans will play a home game with the Houston Rockets.
Our Tuesday Evening Parting Quote comes to us from Jim Marshall, American photographer. Born in 1936 in Chicago, Illinois, while still in high school he purchased his first camera and began documenting musicians and artists in the San Francisco area. After serving several years in the Air Force, he returned and moved to New York. In the early 1960′s he photographed Bob Dylan in Greenwich Village. He famously photographed Jimi Hendrix setting his guitar on fire at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967; at the time he was dating Folgers coffee heiress Abigail Folger, who had accompanied him to the festival. (She died two years later at the hands of the Manson Family.) Marshall had extended access to numerous musicians through the 1960s and 1970s, including being the only photographer allowed backstage at The Beatles’ last concert in San Francisco in 1966, acting as chief photographer at Woodstock in 1969, and photographing Johnny Cash at San Quentin in 1969.. He had a forceful personality and was known to carry at least one Leica camera with him at all times. He photographed such artists as Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead, and the Allman Brothers. In 1997 he published Not Fade Away: The Rock and Roll Photography of Jim Marshall. A new book of photographs by Marshall and Timothy White, Match Prints, was released early in March of 2010, and a book party had been scheduled in New York City; however, he died in his hotel room before the party (died 2010): ”I have no kids, My photographs are my children.”